I met two sisters so joyous-jolly as sisters seen in playful debut— I met the sweet twins, Fancy and Folly, while longing for experiences new. The one to the other to me but smiled as if each a mischievous cohort, and the two sisters seemed lovely and wild and worthy of great efforts to court. So I dared to ask for a dance or two and they obliged me at the ready, taking turns in the dizzying venue till my mind spun quite light and heady. But how to describe such lovely ladies? Fair, at first glance, as floating fairies with dreamy eyes as if beneath shade trees and lips as tempting as red berries, but as berries of the crooked yew tree, for they tasted of a final breath, and, if pursued so quick and foolishly, one may well pursue untimely death. But pursue them, I did, and quite gladly, the two together, or thus never, for they were as one, though both were madly in love with me, for I was clever. Though bigamy might give pause to weak men, the very thought thrilled without surcease, for I was the rooster, they each a hen, sharing my life without moment’s peace. Enraptured of them, I felt I could do all things, however implausible, nor did I fear what I might, in time, rue— for everything seemed possible. And my ladies did so oft entertain when I took them out on social nights, being popular (whoever did reign) and the talk of many socialites. Who needs wine when my twin lovers swayed me with intoxicating emotions and wild dreams that both made and unmade me in the drunkedness of their notions. What mischief twinkled in their lovely eyes! Those who claimed it a lunatic’s gleam were but jealous, envious, or likewise, at being denied our special dream. Arm in arm in arm, we were such a force and accomplished much by our merit, not withstanding the end result (of course) which failed because Fate could not bear it. Yet, even our failures were victories insomuch as we attempted them whereas others, from fear or idling ease, dared not, choosing instead the venom that was smirkful gossip and ridicule to recompense such complacency as would dismiss me as a naive fool while forfeiting their own agency. Who are they, after all, to thus decry the twins as foes of the human race when, frankly, such ladies are reason why Man exists in the very first place, for the twins were improv midwives of Man and have raised all peoples as their own from small, scattered tribes to today’s great span, great gardens grown from a few seeds sown. Without Fancy and Folly at our side where would we all be as a species? Never would we have gone so far and wide to dare the chance of our odysseys. And so I still court them, the sly schemers, on the chance of Chance they can provide, hoping they favor me as those dreamers who, in the past, took each for a bride.
These shades along the River Styx
stand mute and melancholy
like druggies looking for a fix
to forget mortal folly.
in flesh and blood
is but folly bemoaned
in the wilting bud.